Wage and Hour Issues in the Hospitality Industry: Worker Classification, Overtime Pay, Tip Pooling and Other Claims

Best Practices for Hotel and Restaurant Employers to Minimize and Defend Employee Claims

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webcast with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, July 27, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE video webcast will discuss unique wage and hour law challenges hotel and restaurant employers face, strategies for proactively implementing policies and practices to minimize liability exposure, and best practices to defend employee claims.


Because the hospitality industry tends to employ a young and diverse workforce in jobs with a high turnover rate, employment law compliance is a constant concern. Hotel and restaurant employers face myriad employment law compliance challenges, including meeting federal and state wage and hour law obligations governing worker classification, overtime pay and tipped employees.

Employment counsel advising hospitality industry employers must understand the current enforcement and litigation environment and help their clients implement effective labor and employment policies and practices that will minimize the risk of noncompliance with wage and hour laws. Counsel must also be prepared to defend their hospitality industry clients in Department of Labor (DOL) audits and employee lawsuits.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment attorneys discusses current wage and hour trends and case law developments impacting hospitality industry employers. The panel will outline unique legal issues hotel and restaurant employers face, strategies to proactively implement policies and practices that help minimize liability exposure, and best practices to defend employee claims.


  1. Potential areas of wage and hour liability exposure for hospitality industry employers
    1. Worker classification
    2. Overtime pay
    3. Tipped employees
  2. Best practices for hospitality industry employers to limit liability exposure
  3. Defending employers in DOL audits and employee lawsuits


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Potential areas of wage and hour liability exposure for hospitality industry employers
  • Proactive steps hospitality industry employers should take to avoid DOL audits and employee lawsuits
  • Best practices for defending hospitality industry employers in DOL audits and employee lawsuits


Louis Pechman, Founder
Pechman Law Group, New York

Mr. Pechman practices before federal and state courts and government agencies in all areas of workplace law, including employment discrimination, sex harassment litigation, union-management relations, employment contracts, non-competition agreements, independent contractor issues, and overtime and pay disputes. As a practitioner for over 30 years in the labor and employment field, Mr. Pechman offers both individual employees and employers practical guidance on improving the employment relationship and, where appropriate, terminating that relationship. Mr. Pechman is an experienced practitioner in the fast emerging area of wage and hour law. Over the past decade, he has litigated over 100 federal and state court cases involving claims under the FLSA and the New York Labor Law. Mr. Pechman is the founder of http://waiterpay.com/.

Carolyn D. Richmond, Partner
Fox Rothschild, New York

Ms. Richmond is Co-Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Department and the Hospitality Practice Group. Her practice largely consists of representing and counseling employers in the hospitality industry, specifically restaurants, hotels, caterers, night clubs, and fitness centers. She has extensive experience litigating wage and hour class actions, restrictive covenants, and employment discrimination cases. Ms. Richmond also counsels clients with respect to workplace issues such as the hiring process, diversity awareness training, union avoidance, employee handbooks and other policy initiatives. She is a prolific writer and is often a guest speaker on various labor and employment related topics.

Jeffrey H. Ruzal, Member
Epstein Becker Green, New York

Mr. Ruzal is a member of the firm's Wage and Hour Group and Co-Leads the firm’s Hospitality Strategic Industry Group. He represents clients in such diverse industries as hospitality, financial services, retail, healthcare and technology. Mr. Ruzal litigates class actions and collective actions involving a variety of employment and wage-hour issues; provides counsel on, and defends against, federal and state department of labor investigations and enforcement actions; and provides advice and management training on wage and hour compliance, reductions in force, discrimination, and other employment issues. Mr. Ruzal is a frequent speaker and author on a variety of wage and hour topics.


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Kelley Drye

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Hoover Kernell

Paul J. Kennedy


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Wick Phillips

William C. Martucci


Shook Hardy & Bacon

Laura Foote Reiff


Greenberg Traurig

Eugene Scalia


Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Peter Steinmeyer


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Todd D. Wozniak


Greenberg Traurig

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